by Bob Adelmann
03 February 2012
When Hollywood film director James Cameron
(Avatar, Titanic, Terminator) announced that
he was moving to New Zealand, preppers, fiscal doomsayers, and
alarmists had a field day in deciphering his motives for moving, ultimately
deciding that Cameron was moving so that he is better able to weather the
massive monetary upheaval that is upcoming or he is escaping U.S. taxes and
Marc Slavo, as an example, suggested ulterior motives other than
those stated by Cameron:
“While the move for the Canadian-born
Cameron may initially be perceived as a rejection or denouncement of
American policies and ideals … [he] may have ulterior motivations as
evidenced by where he’s planning on moving and what he’s planning on
doing once he gets there.”
The Associated Press reported that Cameron
successfully applied to buy 2,500 acres of farmland and he,
“intend[s] to reside indefinitely in New
Zealand and [is] acquiring the property to reside on and operate as a
Slavo is skeptical in light of Cameron’s lack of
need to be working at all, having made in excess of
$250 million last year,
according to Salon magazine.
And Slavo is not persuaded that Cameron’s real reason is to be closer to the
New Zealand headquarters of Weta Digital, which won an Oscar for its special
effects in the movie Avatar. Nor is he persuaded that Cameron wants to be
there solely to direct the sequel to Avatar scheduled to begin later this
Slavo instead is thinking that Cameron knows
that “farmland is one of the only reasonable physical assets to hold in the
event of a major crisis,” and that Cameron’s disclosure on his New Zealand
application for citizenship was simply cover.
Paul Joseph Watson and Alex Jones at Inforwars.com are of the
same mind as Slavo:
If you think that Hollywood director James
Cameron’s decision to leave America and move his entire family to a farm
in New Zealand is simply to provide his kids with a “strong work ethic,”
as Cameron claims, think again…
Cameron’s decision fits the trend of wealthy
Americans pulling their money out of the country and reinvesting it to buy
land in the southern hemisphere, escaping spiraling tax rates and protecting
themselves against the potential for widespread social dislocation.
When John Malone, chairman of the board of Liberty Media with a
personal net worth of $4.5 billion, reported that he had purchased a
significant piece of property
along the Quebec border, he explained in an
interview with the Wall Street Journal his real motivation:
WSJ: What are the biggest risks for Liberty
Media right now?
Malone: The concerns really tend to be much more macro: Is America going
to make it, rather than are we going to make it? It’s pretty hard. If
the country doesn’t make it, do any of us make it?
WSJ: What are you doing to protect against the weak American economy?
Malone: Well, my wife, who is very concerned about these things, moved
all her personal cash to Australia and Canada. She wants to have a place
to go if things blow up here…
We have a retreat that’s right on the Quebec
border. We own 18 miles on the border, so we can cross. Anytime we want to
we can get away.
As Slavo explained, Malone is not a tin-foil hat weirdo believing in things
that go bump in the night:
“He may not look like a doom and gloomer,
but it sounds like he’s considered the possibility of a complete
collapse in the United States of America. Otherwise, why suggest that if
something were to happen, he could get away?”
Two years ago Brian Knowlton, writing in
the Wall Street Journal, noted the paradigm change taking place even then
among wealthy Americans increasingly frightened about the economic and
social situation in the country.
quoted Jackie Bugnion, director of
American Citizens Abroad (ACA):
“What we have seen is a substantial change
in mentality among the overseas community in the past two years. Before,
no one would dare mention to other Americans that they were even
thinking of renouncing their U.S. nationality. Now, it is an openly
One of the reasons given for considering
renunciation is the increasingly onerous rules invading privacy and personal
The Patriot Act has made it more difficult for
Americans living abroad to keep accounts with international banks. If those
banks cannot verify an American address, the accounts are closed.
Daniel Flynn, an American citizen who
lives in Belgium, wrote a letter to the ACA:
It seems the new anti-terrorist rules are
having unintended effects. I was born in San Francisco in 1939, served
my country as an army officer from 1961 to 1963, have been paying U.S.
income taxes for 57 years, since 1952, have continually maintained [my]
federal voting residence, and hold a valid American passport. [And yet
my bank] said that the new anti-terrorism rules required them to close
our account because of our address outside the U.S.
Another American living in Canada had the same
Kathleen Rittenhouse said,
“I did not know that the Patriot Act placed
me in the same category as terrorists, arms dealers and money
The United States is the only industrialized
country that requires citizens to pay income taxes on earnings abroad that
are also being taxed by the country where they live. Some are calling this,
properly, double taxation and are sick of it.
And the IRS began investigations into foreign
accounts, calling it a “voluntary offshore disclosure program,” that
threatens the privacy and financial security of those with legitimate
Joe Field, a partner in a law firm in
Hong Kong that caters to American citizens seeking to renounce their U.S.
citizenship, says his firm is experiencing an “exponential increase” in the
number of American citizens wanting to get out.
Many people who looked to America as the protector now see America is bent
on coming after them. We’re getting a whole new class of client who is
someone who says,
“I want to go into the [IRS] disclosure
program and as soon as I complete it, expatriate.”
Their numbers are likely to increase as a
loophole allowing wealthy Americans to move their monies and wealth offshore
closes at the end of the year.
Americans with a net worth of at least $2
million will have to buy their way out of the country by paying hefty exit
fees and taxes, even on assets that have unrealized gains. The loophole
allows them until the end of the year to give away up to $5 million without
the fee being applied, saving enough in taxes to pay the fee that is levied.
And then there are those who are just disappearing altogether without a fare
John Gaver, editor of Action America,
wrote that there is a,
“vast and increasing number of wealthy US citizens who
are just ‘dropping out’ - taking all of their wealth and leaving the US
without renouncing. They just disappear off the US tax rolls and appear on
some other country’s tax rolls.”
The number disgusted with how America treats its successful citizens
continues to grow.
As Bugnion of ACA notes,
“It is a sad outcome, but I personally feel
that we are now seeing only the tip of the iceberg.”